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LOL! Good One From The Rachel Maddow FB Page

"Like and share if you agree $1 is far too much!"

Hillier Lake: A Beautiful & Mysterious Pink Lake In Australia

From: I Fucking Love Science

Bernie Sanders: "You have given the wealthiest [portion] of the population a break...

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Why Beef Is Becoming More Like Chicken

A new cattle drug called Zilmax is being widely used in the industrial feedlots where most of America’s beef comes from, but not because it produces a better sirloin. In fact, it has been shown to make steak less flavorful and juicy than beef from untreated cattle. Many feedlot owners, big meatpackers, and at least one prominent industry group resisted the drug, worrying that the beef industry would turn off consumers if it started churning out lower-quality steaks.

So what accounts for the sudden popularity of Zilmax? Zilmax is a highly effective growth drug, and it makes cattle swell up with muscle in the final weeks of their lives. And despite concerns within the industry, the economics of modern beef production have made the rise of Zilmax all but inevitable.

The beef industry has been shrinking for decades, a problem that can be traced to cheap chicken. Poultry companies like Tyson Foods figured out in the 1930s and ’40s how to raise chickens in a factory-like system. Using a business model called vertical integration, poultry companies like Tyson began to control every aspect of animal production, from the hatchery to the farm and the slaughterhouse. After the dawn of vertical integration, chickens were raised in barn-like warehouses on the farm, killed and butchered along assembly lines nearby, and, later, shipped out to big customers like McDonald’s and Wal-Mart—with every step of the process dictated by the same company. In the 1990s, the same model was widely applied to pork production, cutting out the middlemen and leading to a drop in pork prices (after adjusting for inflation).

As chicken got cheaper, it took top billing on fast-food menus. Beef got pushed aside. Some companies have tried to vertically integrate cattle production, but it has never panned out economically, thanks to the stubborn biology of cows. Chicken and pigs have offspring in big numbers, which lends itself to industrial-sized barns. (Hens lay a steady supply of eggs that yield full-grown chickens in about two months; sows bear big litters of piglets that reach maturity in about six months.) But a cow can only have one calf at a time, and the gestation period lasts nine months. After that, a calf suckles from its mother for about four months. It would be exorbitantly expensive to confine that life cycle in a warehouse, since the cow and calf would have to be sheltered and fed for over a year, just to get one full-grown heifer out of the deal. As a result, the vast majority of calves are still born and reared on wide-open ranchland, where herds of them eat free grass and stick by their mother’s side.

But cattle producers still imitate the heavily industrialized chicken industry to compete. Zilmax is part of a new regime for raising cattle that emphasizes higher production and cost-cutting wherever possible. This regime is what created the modern-day feedlot, where thousands of cattle, after being raised on open ranchland, are corralled on muddy hillsides to spend the last few months of their life eating corn. It is also what necessitates the battery of pharmaceuticals and feed additives that cattle must consume to stay healthy and gain weight—as Michael Pollan and others have noted, cattle didn’t evolve to digest corn, so they easily become sick on feedlots without careful monitoring.

Continues: http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/food/2013/02/zilmax_the_cattle_growth_drug_that_s_making_beef_more_like_chicken.single.html

This Week In Science...

For more on what happened in the world of science this week, check out TWIST (This Week In Science and Technology), ScienceAlerts new series with Carin Bondar and Phil Plait: http://bit.ly/XzHago

Gold nugget forming bacteria: http://bit.ly/14C1QIK
Bionic eye: http://bit.ly/WTitKo
Sea urchins: http://bit.ly/WbLZNl
Mammal ancestor: http://bbc.in/YZKkie
Stem cells: http://bit.ly/Y3s94C
Earth like planets: http://hvrd.me/12iA29h

Courtesy of: I fucking love science

REVEALED! What Made The Pope Quit....

From: The Politburo of Teabilly Mockery

The Worst Online Dating Site In The History Of The World

Say you really want to hate everyone AND find the love of your life. Westboro Match is here to help, from the fine folks at Westboro Baptist Church, the people with the awful signs who picket soldier funerals and stuff.


The Guardian: How Disco Dancing Aims To Crush The English Defense League (EDL)

Online version of the article (with some great comments below): http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/shortcuts/2013/feb/01/disco-dance-edl-google-facebook

Their FB Group: https://www.facebook.com/englishdiscolovers
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